Rick and Ellen Cook P’23
How has Dickinson’s useful liberal-arts education impacted your son’s experience?
We were drawn to Dickinson based on the recommendation of a trustee, Sylvia Smith and a friend, Chris Sharples, both prominent architects in New York City. It was love at first sight when we visited the campus for the first time, with the gorgeous stone buildings, the context of historic Carlisle, and most importantly the warmth and accessibility of the school community. It was also important to us that the school was seriously committed to environmental sustainability, and we were impressed with Dickinson’s standing as one of the “Cool Schools” providing leadership in this area. The real magic happened though when our son, David, was deep into the useful liberal-arts education of small class size and incredibly invested professors and realized that his passion was not in environmental studies but in political science. We know of no more useful education than one that is supportive of each student finding themselves and Dickinson has proven to be a perfect fit for David and our family.
Tell us about your experiences as a parent volunteer.
We believe that every student is different, and therefore there is no universal advice except to use this unique time in their lives and the blessed open-ended quality of a liberal-arts education to explore diverse academic pursuits. Part of that exploration is to take advantage of Dickinson’s study-abroad opportunities. There is simply no substitute for the life experiences achieved while studying and traveling abroad.
Based on David’s experiences, what advice would you give to new and incoming students?
As parents, we were amazed by the close-knit community at Dickinson and the support and encouragement provided by the college for the Parents Leadership Council ( PLC).
This was made crystal clear when President Jones and his wife, Beth, both made the time on Homecoming weekend, and the day of his inauguration, to speak to our small group of PLC members , field a range of questions, and provide thoughtful and direct responses to them all.
Published September 27, 2022